The epiphany in the cristian church celebrates the three kings who arrived in Bethlehem and donated some gifts to Jesus.
In Italy on the 6th of January we celebrate also the Befana, an old wrinkled woman who carries sweets to children.
Probably the two events are connected, in fact the name Befana is coming from Epifania. The legend tells that the three kings directed to Bethlehem met an old woman. The woman knew where they were going but didn’t follow them. After a while she changed her mind and decided to fill a basket with sweets and began to knock at all the doors to find the little Jesus. When she met small kids she gave them sweets.
Nowadays in Italy children are leaving empty socks during the night between the 5th and 6th january.When they wake up they will find the socks filled with sweets or coal. The coal is the demonstration that the kid didn’t behave very well in the last year.